“He proceeded to take out three A4 pages of a letter, a story about me, my life, my past, my friends, my family, and about Liam and I. The more he read, the more his voice wavered, the more surreal the feeling I felt.”
Length of engagement: 18 months | Wedding date: 20th July 2012
Wedding location: Armada Hotel, Spanish Point, Co. Clare
Photographer: Micheal Dillon, Dillon Photography
We met… Liam and I had known each other since our teenage years. In 2006 Liam returned from a year abroad and we met again at his cousin’s house warming with whom I was living. We had a great night, chatting, laughing and dancing and by the end of the night we exchanged numbers. Four years later we had bought a house, moved into together, had done plenty of travelling and then in September 2010 we got engaged.
Emer’s first impressions of Liam… I was 18 years old when I first saw Liam on a night out. Even way back then I thought he was very handsome and had a natural charisma about him. I met him again in years later and he hadn’t changed much, handsome, funny, chatty and just really enjoyable to be around. We hit it off immediately and from then on we became the best of friends, boyfriend, girlfriend and finally husband and wife.
Liam’s first impressions of Emer… When I first saw Emer I thought she was very pretty and I just loved her smile and outgoing personality. We clicked straight away, and I always really enjoyed being with her and knew there was something very special about her.
“My favourite part of the day was the morning as I got ready and also arriving at the Church. In the morning I so enjoyed getting my hair and make up done. All my family and relations got ready in my home house. So before we left for the church there was a total of 27 of us there! Hilarious.”
Our proposal… It was my birthday weekend and Liam said he wanted to treat me to something nice. On Saturday morning he made me breakfast and sent me off afterward for a walk as he said he had a few bits to prepare. When I arrived back home, he said I had 10 minutes to get ready. I had no idea where we were off to as I hopped excitedly and nervously into the car. Before long we were headed in the direction for Lahinch, where we had our very first date! When we got there, I got out and opened the boot to get my jacket and there was a brand new, well stocked picnic basket. By this stage I was thinking ‘God he has really pulled out all the stops here – major brownie points!’ So anyways we walked down the beach. The tide was out and it was a beautiful sunny, mild autumn day. We found a nice flat area, spread out the blanket and sat down to a most delicious thoughtful lunch, green tea and napkins included!
When we finished lunch I was sitting back really taking in the moment, when Liam asked me would I like to hear a story, to which I said ‘Of course’. He proceeded to take out three A4 pages of a letter, a story about me, my life, my past, my friends, my family, and about Liam and I. The more he read, the more his voice wavered, the more surreal the feeling I felt. The last two lines went ‘Your father is so proud of you, and I realised this the other day when I went down to ask for his daughters hand in marriage and he began to cry…. (He takes out the ring)… Emer will you be my wife?’
A state of shock, the world stopped, everything quietened and I shook for about 2 minutes, and of course I said YES!!!! Champagne was popped and I cried and hugged my future husband!!
My favourite part of the day… When I pulled up outside the church I thought it looked out of this world. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the red of the carpet against the greyness of the paved stone, softened by the tulle and lighted lanterns brought a beautiful sense of elegance to the Church, it really caught my breath, and made me feel incredibly special for what I had gained in my life and for about what was to be gained. I couldn’t wait to get in there and walk up to meet my future husband.
“I couldn’t wait to get in there and walk up to meet my future husband.”
Our ceremony… The church and flowers were very elegant and unique in the way they were done. The door of the church was adorned with tulle draping and little heart wreath with a bride and groom hung over head. I bought tall cream vintage lanterns and placed them at either side of the red carpet. On either side of the church door stood rose trees with flowers entwined in them and one had a vintage wedding sign hanging from it, thus the entrance into the Church was very elegant and the added features really framed the doorway. The flowers were amazing, a mix of blue and cream hydrangeas, purple Lisianthus, purple Freesia, Calla Lilies, Singapore Orchids, Gladioli, and thistle, to name just some of what was used. As well as having pedestals of flowers along the aisle of the Church, I had also bought little white hearts which using tulle and adorned with a blue hydrangea were hung intermitted from the end of the pews. Liam’s Aunt Maureen Guilfoyle, who is a part time florist, created the most beautiful arrangement of flowers I have ever seen. The Church looked spectacular.
“The Church flowers were amazing, a mix of blue and cream hydrangeas, purple Lisianthus, purple Freesia, Calla Lilies, Singapore Orchids, Gladioli, and thistle, to name just some of what was used…”
“As well as having pedestals of flowers along the aisle of the Church, I had also bought little white hearts which using tulle and adorned with a blue hydrangea were hung intermitted from the end of the pews. The Church looked spectacular.”
Our wedding theme/colours… I wanted the wedding to be classy but yet have a real fun factor. The overall colour scheme was a mix of blues and purples which begun with the bridesmaid dresses, and then was brought through in the wedding flowers, the groomsmen suits, the tie backs on the chairs, the mood lighting and even the affirmation cards peg. The fun aspect first begun with our choice of invitations. We did a caricature style wedding invitation created by Ralph McMahon from Limerick and printed by McNamara Printers in Shannon Co. Clare. The caricature was of us standing outside the Church, with the church in the background. Liam was in a suit and wore a Newmarket Celtic jersey (the football team he plays with), underneath and his foot was on the soccer ball. Meanwhile I had on my wedding dress and Louboutins. There was a sign post in the background one pointing to SS Peter and Paul Cathedral and the other to the Armada Hotel. Once we had sent this out, we got such great feedback and I think the tone was then set that this was going to be a great day of celebration.
We chose our photographer because… we loved what we saw on his website. Micheal (Dillon, of Dillon Photography) is such a mild mannered, professional and efficient photographer and he took amazing shots on the day.
Our DIY projects… Finally I also made individual affirmation cards for all our guests, with their name and an affirmation on the back. These were clipped onto the wine glasses using little blue pegs to compliment the theme. Lavender sprigs were also set into the napkins on the place settings.
We chose our venue because… It has a very good reputation as a wedding venue in Clare. The Armada Hotel, Spanish Point is also located by the sea, and this was something that was very important to us. The panoramic views in the function room are breathtaking and the sun beamed happily in at our wedding party until dusk that evening. Saurbh Jain, who was the wedding co-ordinator in the Armada, was so helpful and accommodating. Anything I asked for it was done.
Our reception… We chose a traditional group to play at both the church and reception. Our table names were called after past and present Liverpool players and again proved a great talking point as did the quiz cards/icebreakers/jokes, which were at every table to test guests knowledge and get conversations flowing. A magician by the name of Leon Anderson entertained our guests during the drinks reception, which were held outside because it was such an incredibly warm and sunny day – the only one of the summer! Paul and his crew from Galway Swing Dancers showed us how really to dance during the band’s interval, much to the delight of onlookers. To keep the party going we gave out blow up guitars, saxophones, microphones etc much to the delight of everyone, and it certainly kept everyone on the dance floor. In case anyone was in need of a sugar fix, there was a very well stocked candy buffet with some classics, just to keep everyone happy!
My piece of advice for other brides… Be organised. Buy a diary, let that be your ‘Wedding Bible’, break down your jobs month by month and follow through on your to do lists. Lastly enjoy your day because at the end of the day it is about you and your partner sealing your love for one another and that’s what counts.
|Venue: Armada Hotel, Spanish Point, Clare
Videography: Dreamcatcher Productions, Lahinch Co. Clare
Photography: Micheal Dillon Photography Co. Galway
Make-up Artist: Ken Boylan, Dublin – highly recommended!
Hair Stylist: Bridget Haren Hair Ennis Co Clare
Invitations: McNamara Printers, Shannon Co. Clare
Caricatures: Ralph McMahon Caricatures, Limerick
Florist: Maureen Guilfoyle, Barefield Co. Clare
Car: Pat Keogh, Newmarket on Fergus Co Clare
|Entertainment: Galway Swing Dancers
Wedding band and DJ: Traffic, Shannon Co. Clare
Room Decor: Grace Covers, Ennis Co. Clare
Micheal O’Sullivan Carpets: Ennis Co. Clare
Suits: Club Dangan Suit Hire Ennis Co. Clare
Ellen’s Dressmaking, Clare Castle Co. Clare
Cake: Kareena McMahon Creative Cakes, Ballysheedy Limerick
Jewellery: Knightsbridge Bespoke Jewellery, Powerscourt Dublin
Magician: Leon Andersen, Limerick